About this time of year (if not before) I start thinking about the winter, a slightly depressing thought as really it is only just Autumn. Unfortunately the nights are definitely getting colder and the clocks will be changing on the 25/26 of October. This means the horses need to be coming in at night and there are a few jobs I try to get done while the weather is still reasonably dry and warm!
So, I get a little To Do List together ...
...... and work through it.
This doesn't always happen in the list order thought.
So last weekend I sorted and cleared the 'haybarn' ready to get a big load in which will last a few months. When the horses have been out at night in the summer they really only eat a small amount of hay when they come in from the sun in the middle of the day. The haybarn starts to look a little messy.
There are a few bales left of last years hay and lots of loose hay that accumulates, as every time I fill a haynet a little bit falls away loose. All the hay is kept on wooden pallets to improve the air flow but by this time of year they are often blocked up with hay. This is obviously going to stop the air flowing so needs sorting before I get any new hay in (which needs better air flow to prevent it overheating). So I moved all the hay into one corner and collected any usable hay into spare haynets. These I will soak and use for the horses to reduce the waste. I then picked up each pallet in turn and removed all the old, dusty, mouldy hay which was tightly packed in between the slats. This took ages as I had to do it by hand and it was really dusty, I had all the doors open to try to reduce the dust (we have double doors to one side for deliveries and a single door on the other for daily use).
Once I had done most of the pallets (except the one the few hay bales were stacked on) I moved the hay on to a cleaned pallet near the single door. This was so I used this before any new that was delivered, the horses won't eat the old hay once they have tasted the new! I then finished clearing the final pallet, gave the floor and walls a good sweep and laid all the pallets back down.
We have just had a hay delivery so now the 'haybarn' looks like this.......
and I can tick one item off my list.
Until next time!